I'm currently sitting in an empty classroom (taking advantage of the free 'guest' WiFi) at the University of Wyoming while Sean is attending his first Portuguese class. I'm ridiculously jealous, but at least I can eavesdrop. After these next two hours, Sean is going to know more of the language than I do; this is going to have to change before February 17!
How did I end up in crazy-negative-temperature-cold-middle-of-nowhere-Wyoming? Originally, Sean was going to drive out here and get settled but at the last minute about a week ago I decided to come along. This was mainly because I'm going to be able to visit my brother and his family in Florida on the trip as well. Sean and I drove out last Sunday, are getting settled in Larmie at the beginning of this week and then are spending the weekend with friends in Fort Collins and Denver. Then I fly out to Florida on Sunday, the 20th. I am so excited! So far the trip has been a lot of fun and I am so glad that I was able to come along.
We arrived in Laramie to plenty of snow and ice at about 7pm last night and already it feels like a different world. Being in the West, even when you've grown up in the Midwest, is quite a unique environment by comparison. It's a bit like studying abroad in your own country. First of all, there's nobody here. Laramie has a booming population of about 30,000 (and that's when the university is in session - otherwise it drops down to about 15,000). Secondly, everyone knows everyone; when we went to deposit the rent/bond at the bank we weren't sure we were at the right one. Our teller assured us that we were given that she was close friends with 'Hank' and that he was a great guy. Thirdly, everyone is in Carhart and Camouflage but more importantly everyone is dressed for the weather which means lots of long undies peeking out, big boots and warm hats. Also, Sean is quickly realizing that the manliness factor of driving a Honda Civic is pretty low when compared to all the other guys' (and gals') trucks.
What I like about the city so far is that everybody is very chatty and friendly. People drive slow and give you the two-fingered-hands-on-the-wheel truck wave. What I'm not that excited about is that it seems very popular here to start drinking at about 1pm and also that everyone has a cigarette in their mouths. Sean's roommates are both strict vegetarians who also happen to be serious smokers. Interesting.
Sean's living accommodations involve sharing a rented house with two other WCC workers. It's a three-bedroom-one-bathroom little ranch near the university and town and has absolutely no furniture in it. My first glimpse of the house involved stepping out of the garage into the main hallway only to be met with a large tub of Red worms composting away happily. The other two bedrooms were already set up with the roommates' tents; it looks to be a house full of outdoorsy hippies. It's going to be an interesting experience, to say the least.
"Boa Sorte, Sean!"